Friday, September 30, 2005

bill bennet, shut up.

White House Criticizes Bennett for Remarks - New York Times

he says:
"I was pointing out that abortion should not be opposed for economic reasons, any more than racism or for that matter slavery or segregation should be supported or opposed for economic reasons," he said. "Immoral policies are wrong because they are wrong, not because of an economic calculation. One could just as easily have said you could abort all children and prevent all crime, to show the absurdity of the proposition."


In an interview with Fox News, Mr. Bennett said critics had distorted his comments by omitting his statement that aborting all black babies would be "morally reprehensible."

"When that is included in the quote, it makes it perfectly clear what my position is," Mr. Bennett said, "They make it seem as if I am supporting such a monstrous idea, which I don't."

but, funny, though he 'easily' could have said so, he didn't say that one could abort all children and prevent all crime. he says black babies. (equating blackness and crime and just being icky all over the place); and saying that it's reprehensible (which was included in all the transcripts) doesn't take away from the fact that he SAID IT. no give backs. no do-overs. you SAID it, Bill.

(hey, let's play the bill bennet game! i know - one could also say that we could prevent all rape by aborting all male babies. of course to do so would be wrong, but it's a thought, right? or, we could stop all terrorism by aborting all muslims. or, we could stop homophobia by isolating the gay gene and aborting all gay babies. wow. this is a fun game once you get started. thanks, bill!)

dear jesus, thank you for tina

after waxing on below it seems a shame to bump it down with common snark but THIS is TOO good: Hostage Gave Meth to Atlanta Fugitive.

remember that awful bad man down in atlanta who took that sweet church going woman hostage and she won her liberty by witnessing to him?

uhhh, no.

she gave him her secret stash of crystal. (oh, the sweet sweet tweak of tina.)

Thursday, September 29, 2005

katrina & race: post mortem

Body and Soul: Criminals and victims revisited

as is my wont i'm posting this right before bed so my thoughts aren't going to be smooth or plainly laid out. i'm thinking about the story my father told me, of black people eating dead bodies; i'm thinking of stories of black people shooting at helicopters trying to rescue them; i'm thinking about stories of marauding hordes while a city descends into chaos and anarchy. i'm thinking about stories of gang rapes in stadiums.

did we believe these stories?

how many blogs did we read where commenters distanced ourselves from what we heard and saw on tv; we were horrified at those stories and angry at them. posters saying they couldn't understand why people would behave like that. we gave to the red cross to send aid, but we spoke in private conversations at the office about not getting how people could be so lawless. where was the personal responsibility, we asked? where's the accountability, we mused?

i did it. i remember writing how ashamed i felt at all those stories and images. i internalized the easy racist (prejudice + power = racism) narratives of the Black Rapist, the Black Looter, the Black Savage.

and now, on further examination, it turns out those narratives were mostly empty. yes, there was looting; yes, there was crime. but not on the level our fevered imaginations created. the shots fired at helicopters were fired on the ground; the hordes are two men; the rapes...

so, now that we're calmer, where did our acquiescence come from? why were we so pliant to listen to those stories?

don't you think that's interesting?
i think that's interesting.

more, sir? no, enough!

Have you noticed that those of us in the blog-hood seem to be tottering on our last legs lately? Over the past month I keep running across writers who, one by one, have gasped, "It's too much. The world is too much. I can't take it and now I must go."

It has happened. The absurdity and wrongness of this world have finally taken its toll on the best and brightest of us and now we've retreated to our netflix subscriptions, gin and home-brewed beer.

Katrina was probably the breaking point but let's spread the blame around: George Bush, new Republicans, college kids who don't like homework, opt out moms/daughters, reality tv mavens, social conservatives, men's rights activists, maxim readers, status quo humpers, religious fanatics (of all stripes) and plain old stupid people have succeeded in finally sucking the last drop of resistance from us and now, limp with despair, we just want to take our toys back and live in the tree house where we can remember the good old days of 1999. (remember how much fun it was then? shit, even 2001 was more fun than this. at least i was having sex in 2001.)

I don't know about you, but I can't take 3 more years of Bush Co. I can't take a whole lifetime of Roberts and his anti-privacy/women/pro-corporate crap. (yeah, it's not even his first day on the job but let me go on the record: he's going to startle us with his suckage! look at history! it repeats!) I won't be able to withstand middle age railing against some freaky ID advocate who wants us to redefine science to resemble prayer. I won't be able to muster the energy to keep birth control a matter of health and privacy, not religion. I won't be able to stay sane as we morph into a bunch of nationalistic pseudo-christian hopheads.

Maybe this was their plan all along - exhaust us with an unceasing barrage of stupidity, misogyny, various -phobias and -isms until we are so shocked with their audacity we just fold in defeat.

Because I especially won't be able to withstand the continued transformation of the democratic party into oliver twist much longer, either.

a modest proposal: bill bennett on crime and abortion

think he's being satirical?

i don't.

Delay Is Indicted in Texas Case and Forfeits G.O.P. House Post - New York Times

happy birthday to me, happy birthday to me. happy birthday to ding, happy birthday to me!


Tuesday, September 27, 2005

36: ain't nothin but a thang

the birthday passed exactly how i wanted it: not a lot of fanfare and just the right amount of alcohol sickness.

a girl friend of mine had her birthday last week so we went out saturday night. it started out a feminine civilized evening: wine and dessert at a new bistro in bucktown, a few cocktails at blue line - but when we got to exit things took a decided turn for the unwise.

who had the bright idea of drinking tequila, beer, guinness and whiskey on a stomach full of sugar and wine? we did.

(and if anyone can tell me what all the police/crime scene tape was doing at marie's rip tide lounge saturday night around 2.30 am, that'd be great.)
pink martini was in town monday night and roomie sprang for a ticket for me and we went with the girls. another perfect, romantic evening spent in the company of 4 single women. if we were gay, and into each other, we'd be set. for a minute there, we were worried k- wouldn't be able to join us (the show was sold out!) but the generosity of a really cute older man older man on the sidewalk saved the night.

i can't say enough about pink martini; they may only tour the west coast and europe but if you hear a rumor they're in your city, you MUST see them. they are so very good. and the cello guy? hot. hothouse on balboa is a gem that really needs to be taken advantage of more often; they get excellent world class talent and they even serve a fine soul food dinner.

can double door say that? i don't think so.

Monday, September 26, 2005

Saturday, September 24, 2005

Look At His Butt!

funniest. blog title. ever.

(yah i can't sleep tonight.)

Cannot find server: whither XX Blog?

where'd they go?

did i miss something? have the wonderful women of xx blog gone their separate ways?

Friday, September 23, 2005

crafty. grr!

roomie and i will be here on saturday. maybe we'll see you there.

maybe i'll pick up something cute and funky.

speaking of cute and funky can i admit to crushing out on the middle-aged rockers inxs? i think the chubby bearded one and the one who looks like he'd like edgar allan poe alot are my favorites.

fashion friday: big strollers

my sister has two kids. one of my friends from grad school has one. i've even babysat two toddlers at the same time, taking them shopping with me at the mall.
and i've never once hit anyone with a stroller.

why? because i know how to negotiate my space in the city.

i used to live in a very baby-populated neighborhood in boystown (oh, boystown before you bacame haven for yuppies!) and i have to admit, the big Hummer strollers clogging Caribou Cafe pissed me off. the looks the parental unit would get as they rammed their buggy over feet, knocking into tables, tumbling coffee cups to the floor, wrestling their way to the front of the line. or the exasperated glares from waitstaff when a huge mercedes benz of a stroller blocks the aisle and there's no way to get to their table. or on the bus, when even the smaller strollers bifurcate the only aisle, trapping other riders behind them.

is this about privilege ('i have a human life in a buggy so step aside') or is it aout being city-dumb?

i think it's about being city-dumb. who in their right mind doesn't fold up a stroller when entering a restaurant, cafe or bus? who plonks their uncollapsed stroller in the middle of the aisle, creating a FIRE HAZARD? who thrusts their large stroller into traffic, stopping right turners who have the right of way, so they can cross the street? who decides that a stroller will fit (head first) into a revolving door?

people who have no concept of living in the limited space of a city.
people who think the world is their backyard.
(and this applies to groups of single women who walk 4-abreast down the sidewalk as they shop - group it together, ladies! this ain't the quad in college!!)
people who would fail a city navigational quiz.

so here's a city tip to those stroller owners out there: fold it up and put it aside.
the world will like you again.

*edited because a cleaner post is a better post*

Thursday, September 22, 2005

opting out, pt 2: slate calls it

remember that lame article earlier this week about those ivy girls who just want to stay home and pop out babies?

jack shafer calls it a a bogus trend story on Page One.

thanks for the heads up from sarah t.

financial services: home to hannibal

this explains why the guys who work at the CBOT and the Merc all creep me out.

they're nuts.

[thanks feckless]

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

birthday dork

one thanksgiving, i was helping my mom cook and on the little black and white tv i saw a movie i have always secretly loved: busgy malone.

uh...i totally loved it. kids in jazz baby dress, jodie foster, scott baio and cute little cars that you pedaled. i loved it.

and now, because i mentioned it to my roomie once, i have it on dvd for my birthday. (she got it from japan. squee!)

i love this movie. it made me want to be a jazz baby. i even loved the corny paul williams soundtrack. yes, i'm almost ashamed to admit it but i know almost every song. (and the shoes!!)

so we're watching it tonight and roomie says something about a guy not understanding this bugsy thing i have.
i say, NO! if they can have dorky stuff i can have this!

whoever is not enchanted by a pubescent jodie foster singing about how she got her training in north carolina is a whoever i don't need to meet.

macy's sucks

i grew up on the west coast where there was a local macy's at the fox hills mall. i hated going to macy's. the merchandise looked cheap, the aisles were always narrow and it was beige unstylishness all around.

that was years ago and nothing much has changed. i visited my sister a year ago and we went holiday shopping at macy's in the westside pavillion: still junky, still tacky, still ugly.

and now they've destroyed marshall fields. they're taking a gorgeous flagship store with real historical weight, cute boutiques, and they're going to paint it beige and suck all the style out of it and make it a filene's basement. they're going to destroy the tiffany's window, turn the walnut room into taco bell, dump merz apothecary and throw the big state street clock into the street.

i know. no one outside of chicago really cares.

but it's typical: big corporate asshats taking something beautiful, historical, quirky and small and then turning it into something totally boring and common.

elitist? sure. it sucks to have good taste replaced with tackiness.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

opting out: not just for your mother anymore

you know you've read it. or someone has emailed it to you already. (it's the number one emailed article in the times today.)


Ms. Ku added that she did not think it was a problem that women usually do most of the work raising kids.

"I accept things how they are," she said. "I don't mind the status quo. I don't see why I have to go against it."

does no one know women's history anymore??

Monday, September 19, 2005

get your war on | k

he's been bitter about iraq and now he's downright scathing about katrina.

(thanks to mr. b for reminding me)

36: the non-age

oh, blah.

nothing right now is grabbing my attention, either on the news or off. last week worked me so hard i was brain dead for the entire weekend. much to roomie's chagrin i watched hours of remington steele season 1 episodes, slipping immediately into my childhood pleasure. (i loved that show.) i have overdue library books, com'tee meetings and a huge fundraiser coming up next month at work that's just about ready to drive all of us insane at National NonProfit.

and - next weekend is my birthday. 36. it's depressing. my friends are treating me to a pink martini concert and that's great. i love them. i love my friends. it'll be wonderful. but i have to confess that i don't want to think any more than i have to about turning 36. i don't really want to celebrate it. i want it to disappear.

more and more i'm thinking about how invisible women become the older we get. or, maybe this is just about me. i'm feeling more invisible the closer i get to true middle age. it's like, ok if there's no rocking passion in my life at least let there be decadent fun. (yes i'm passionate about my work and about my writing but that doesn't keep a girl exactly excited, you know?) but no. no decadent fun. just age. more hairs in unmentionable places. more evidence of sagging and stretching.

even my bras have changed. from lacy cute things to utilitarian soviet-style underwear that really do the job. it's depressing, this 36. i may even be closer to early menopause than i thought previously. now that i think about it, my mom went nuts right before her 40th birthday. pre-menopause. insanity. dwindling desire. increased hair growth. more stretch marks. aching knees.


Friday, September 16, 2005

things i read while at work today...

1. I. Wallerstein, 169, Katrina: The Politics of Incompetence and Decline
2. NYTimes - Serving Gays Who Serve God
3. Plain Jane Custom Design (I want pants...)

it's been a busy week. clearly i'm brain dead.

AngryBlackBitch: A bitch might hate you if...

for all the reasons we love ABB, her ability to spin a rant into a piece of effing art is highest.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

confirmation hearings: all you need to know here

via bitch, the rude pundit goes meta on the john roberts confirmation hearings.

hippie vacation

hoax or not, this had me snorting at my office.

(and since i've been here since 7 am, i deserve a few snorts.)

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Negrophile: i wonder how he does it

excellent group of links to articles on race, katrina, pedagogy, media, and other points of interest here.

where does he find the time, i ask you. where??

anger floats

Over on my other blog a commenter noticed that the rantings from the Right have been getting more intense and crazy and his comment led me to think about the overall pugilistic air hanging over everything. In light of my recent contretemps with Sir/Madam Anonymous over here, I’ve also begun examining why I’ve been losing my temper so easily recently. It’s not like people have never disagreed with me and, while I admit I have an issue with criticism (I always have and it always made presenting conference papers a dicey deal), my inability to rein in my anger is a new thing.

Anger, which has generally always floated up towards the power structure from a very deep well, now skims the surface of everything like an oil slick. Any match – a newstory, a blog post, an unframed comment – will set it off. And it’s just not me – we can see it everywhere, from Pat Robertson calling for Hugo Chavez’ assassination to our side calling Roberts the incarnation of the devil. What’s happening to us?

When I shut down Anonymous in an earlier thread my heart was beating faster, my breath was short, my fingertips tingling, my temples pounding. If the context had been different I’d either dropped a really good tab of ecstasy, had a stupendous fuck or been in a fight. And that’s what it is – the adrenaline of aggression.

Most of us who stop here think Bush is a tool and his administration’s handling of, well, everything has sucked and sucked hard; preemptive war makes us nervous, the with us/against us binary fills us with fury and the general jingo/xeno/nationalistic fervor in our culture makes us sick to our stomach. In other words, we hold ourselves separate from the ideologies spewing from the White House. But like it or not, I think we’ve internalized them, too.

We’ve swallowed their flaming sword and the thrill of using it pushes us closer and closer to where They are. Don’t get me wrong; being a shrinking violet has all the appeal of wearing white pantyhose for me. And there is something heady, sexy, arousing to losing one’s temper and letting fly with all the invective you can muster. You feel all…manly. Like you have the biggest prick on the block.

Maybe I don’t have room in my pants anymore for a prick.

Monday, September 12, 2005

while roomie was out of town this weekend i finally figured out the ergonomically puzzling vibe i bought a few months ago (i'd been using it upside down.) it relieved some stress so i thought i'd jump on nerve, despite my rant below, and take a gander at who'd been looking at my profile. (ah, privacy. you're a thing of the past.)

hmm. despite having no new messages in my inbox i've been peeked at by at least 30 guys. (which isn't the point; i just can't get around not using a number. saying 'bunch of guys' sounds worse, as well as not being true, and saying anything else is just vague and inadequate.) the point is that i'm wondering why i don't have any messages. if they're like me, they have credits that carried over into the new system (though now it costs a criminal 200 pts to just say hi to someone on nerve. bastards.) so why no Hi? are they waiting for me to say hi?

and then i saw something that made my heart jump just a little bit.

Dewey (aka, the Librarian).
he viewed and added me to his 'hot' list just a few days ago.
he's not dead.
he hasn't been eaten by connecticut mooses. (moosi? moose?)
should i say something? send him a casual hiya?

seeing his face again made me gasp.
is this me missing him?

Saturday, September 10, 2005

well, it's away. the teeny feature for a canadian mag is finished. and now that i've just emailed it to the editor, i want to take it back. crap.
my houseguest M- left this morning. it was good seeing him. we bought comic books, watched a little football and smoked a lot of duty-free camels. i spent the whole day with him thursday but friday i went back to the office. it was a long day - meetings, fundraiser deadlines were beginning to hit hard and i had to admit that i didn't give a lot of thought to how M- was going to occupy his time. (since i have no nurturing instincts, i tend to just let people fall where they may.)

so i was not that worried when i got home last night and he wasn't there. i thought, oh, he's taking a walk or he's on his way back from ... wherever. but then it started getting dark. no phone call, the bus that stops right in front of my house had stopped running...where's M-?

poor guy. he had to walk all the way home from michigan avenue.

Friday, September 09, 2005

things to do today:

1. get out of the house. have early offsite meeting. can't be late!
2. finish writing article for magazine, due TOMORROW!
3. finish reading yesterday's comic books.
4. say eulogy for libido.
5. practice patience and forbearance for annoying anonymous commenter; maybe i'll even say a little prayer for them
6. control my temper

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

taps for nerve

remember when Nerve used to be naughty? back in 2001, right before we launched our war on terror, before george bush made us too angry to think about sex ever again? back in 2001 when we wanted all the naughty, snarky, sweaty sexy flirtage in the world because we were doin' it for Freedom? because we "couldn't let the terrorists win!"?

remember when Nerve was the way we hooked up? i remember.

oh, the boys of nerve...snarky, dorky, smart, anti-authoritarian, reclusive, twisted, pervy, unshaven, secret geniuses, overt psychopaths, darling awkward loner boys of nerve. we met them in dive bars, lounges, coffee shops, museum lobbies and train platforms; we had a few drinks, shot a few racks of pool or maybe just got totally loaded at old town. we wrote naughty naughty emails, the kind of emails that could probably get you arrested in a few states now. oh, the words that used to fly! the limericks, the sly innuendo, the abrupt and beautiful candor. the rooftop test (if a boy makes it to the rooftop, someone's gettin' nekkid), the thrill of instant, hectic chemistry. and, god, the phone bills. those long phone calls from the bathtub at 5 am, those calls that interrupted girls' nights out and made us scurry to a quiet corner to chat and flirt and promise to call back later. those calls that all eventually led to someone's voice getting all quiet and rumbly and someone touching something the other person couldn't see.

god that was fun.

say goodbye to all that. nerve, like before them, has sucked all the life out of online frottage. gone is the snark and the loose-y goose-y beery leery come-on; now your profile has all the snap and sweat of a resume. gone is the shadowy lure of assuming a persona, donning a mask that makes you glow faster and hotter than you could manage on your own. now you're nailed down faster than a coffin lid. no more 'self-deprecation'; no more coy dithering about how much you smoke or drink. now you're either a heavy smoker or a light, social drinker or a hard drug user. there's no more 'play' - just short term dating or long term dating. they actually ask you what your 'hopes and dreams' are!

it was like looking at a face under fluorescent lights so i deleted every profile i had in my inbox.

you know, online dating might've been skeevy but it was a fun skeevy; it was the skeevy you couldn't wait to tell your friends about. it was a fucking unknown adventure. feh - they've turned the dark walk to the back room into a frickin' kiddie ride at navy pier.

nerve is dead.


first-hand account from a volunteer in houston helping out the evacuees.

good reading and a tonic to the news.

[via heretik]

gasp - a day off!

after four months of social do-gooding i am taking my first day off this week. a friend is in town for a few days and i will relish the chance to wear jeans in the middle of the week while we hit comic book stores and visit (yawn) wrigley stadium. (his idea; not mine)

i might post here and there but be forewarned - i'm going to be very shallow.

Monday, September 05, 2005

a good eye: Body and Soul

for really well-argued analysis and a fine sense of integrity as well as a true moral sense, i go to this blog.

her collection of what other blogs/commenters are saying about katrina and the fissures in our race/class consciousness are top notch.

Sunday, September 04, 2005

it's not just a storm

I just got off the phone with my father who’s been very distressed by all the images and news coming out of New Orleans at this time. A man who’s been expecting some kind of race war since 1984, my father is looking at this moment in time as a perfect opportunity for The Man to finally throw up his hands about The Violent Looting Hordes of Black People and put us all in Gitmo-like camps.

I had to calm him down; he said that things are tense where he is. Since he’s in Los Angeles, I’m not surprised. The images and news of the stranded shooting at rescue helicopters, of the city degenerating into chaos over the past week – those things resonate strongly in a city still simmering in its own racial tensions. For him, our people have turned into animals and it scares him. (He’s having a very Bill Cosby moment.)

He woke me up very early this morning (before church!!) to ask if I’d heard the rumors about cannibalism in New Orleans. I hadn’t. So I googled it. Almost all the sites that mentioned cannibalism were wacked out extreme right-wing, white supremacists. Dad barely heard my reassurances that 'No, black people were not eating dead bodies.'

My father was so distraught he came awfully close to saying things like this guy is saying (found via steve gilliard). I'm not going to go into an impassioned plea for racial tolerance or some pedagogical song-and-dance about how racism takes an individual act, substitutes it for the whole and then leaps off into insanity from there. It's too exhausting to teach white folks (and black folks like my dad) about the power structures of Racism. Let's keep the conversation on the micro level.

Is that what the majority of us think? Deep down, below our manners and our politics? Beyond stats on FEMA, levees, poor planning, poor execution, is this what we really think? Is this the reason we won't donate to the Red Cross? The reason we don't find any sympathy for the people down there? They're just too .... Other for us to really dig?

If it is, the problem isn’t just in New Orleans.

aw, crap: rehnquist dead.

great. wonderful.

Saturday, September 03, 2005

'they followed directions': Countdown with Keith Olbermann -

transcript of olbermann's thursday show here.

'they are so black': reporters finally get it

this is a column from jack shafer about the problematic response to katrina and the thousands still stranded in new orleans. it's worth reading because what these reporters are seeing (not their opinions, not their media talking points) - what they're seeing is the face of the massive underclass in our country - black, poor, desperate, dying, stranded.

wolf blitzer, moved out of his jc penny dummy-like stupor riffs in response to the pictures:

You simply get chills every time you see these poor individuals, as Jack Cafferty just pointed out, so tragically, so many of these people, almost all of them that we see, are so poor and they are so black, and this is going to raise lots of questions for people who are watching this story unfold.

you can use his words as a metaphor or you can take it for what it is - reality.

[via alternet - which has a great series of stories on the storm, the coverage, and the response]

Friday, September 02, 2005

"Finding" versus "Looting"

so...what's the difference?

(and, please, if any anonymous asshole writes something problematic, i'm deleting it. and yes - i do get to decide what's problematic.)